Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 36 – HAPPY & SAD

A new badge for spring

Happy POETRY Tuesday everyone!
Are you ready to get groovy with your poetry? Then, you’re in the right place! Pull up a chair, and let’s write some poetry.

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You can write your poem in one of the three forms defined below:

HAIKU in English



You can do one poem or try to do one of each. It’s up to you – YOUR CHOICE. The instructions follow below:


Are you new to writing the Haiku in English poetry form? Please read my page, How to Write a Haiku in English.


Tanka poems are based on syllable structure much the same way a Haiku is written in the 5/7/5 format.

The Tanka form is easy to create: 5/7/5/7/7 and is a Haiku with two extra lines, of 7 syllables each consisting of five separate lines.

What makes a Tanka different from a Haiku is that the first three lines (5/7/5) are the upper phase. This upper stage is where you create an image in your reader’s mind.

The last two lines (7/7) of a Tanka poem are called the lower phase. Now here is where it gets interesting. The lower stage, the final two lines, should express the poet’s ideas about the image that was created in the three lines above.

Visit Jean Emrich at Quick Start Guide
CLICK THE LINK TO SEE THE EXAMPLES and to learn how to write a Tanka poem

HOW TO CREATE THE HAIBUN POETRY FORM shares how to write a Haibun poem. Please follow the rules carefully.

Writing Haibun

“The rules for constructing a haibun are simple.

  • Every haibun must begin with a title.
  • Haibun prose is composed of terse, descriptive paragraphs, written in the
    first person singular.
  • The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all excessive words should be pared down or deleted. Nothing must ever be overstated.
  • The poetry never attempts to repeat, quote or explain the prose.
  • Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail.
  • Thus the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – seemingly different yet somehow connected.

It is the discovery of this link between the prose and the poetry that offers one of the great delights of the haibun form. The subtle twist provided by an elegantly envisaged link, adds much pleasure to our reading and listening.

Some Common Forms of Modern Haibun

1. The basic unit of composition– one paragraph and one poem

We guide our canoe along the shores of beautiful Lake Esquagama. It is nine o’clock at night on this evening of the summer solstice. As the sun begins to dim the lake becomes still as glass. Along the shore, forests of birch are reflected in its mirrored surface, their ghostly white trunks disappearing into a green canopy. The only sound is a splash when our bow slices the water. We stop to rest the paddles across our knees, enjoying the peace. Small droplets from our wet blades create ever-widening circular pools. Moving on, closer to the fading shore, we savour these moments.

as a feather
on the breeze
the distant call
of a loon

2. The prose envelope – prose, then poem, then prose

Echoes of Autumn
I walk quietly in the late afternoon chill, birdsong silent, foliage deepened into shade, a rim of orange over darkening hills.

through soft mist
the repeated call
of one crow

Reaching the gate then crossing the threshold I breathe the scent of slow-cooking, the last embers of a fire, red wine poured into gleaming crystal, the table – set for two …

3. Poem then prose

(Rather than begin with a single tanka, I wrote a tanka set or sequence, followed by the prose. In contemporary haibun writing, the poems are occasionally presented in couplets or in longer groups).

The Road to Longreach
the coastal fringe
of green and blue
behind the gateway
to the outback

wheat, sorghum
and cotton stubble
in the autumn sun
as hawks patrol above

faces to the sky
the last blaze of colour
in the dryland’s
barren outlook

brown soil
of the rural strip
surrenders to
brick red, burnt ochre
of the open range

and further out –
in orange dust
a single cornstalk
displays its tassel

Days pass as we move through the desolate landscape, carved into two parts by the road we travel on, a continual ribbon drawing us straight ahead into its vanishing point, where only spinifex grass and saltbush lies between us and our destination.

4. The verse envelope — poem, prose, then poem

Winter Magic
silver light
thick hoar-frost
covers the window

Ice shapes resembling small fir trees stretch across the glass, while delicate snow flowers sparkle around them. Lost in its beauty, I move through this crystal garden as my warm fingers trace up and down, leaving a smudged pathway.
Mother’s voice interrupts, “Susan, come away from that cold window and get dressed or the school bus will leave without you!”

burning hoop pine
scent of a warm kitchen
oatmeal with brown sugar

5. Alternating prose and verse elements

The Sentinel
I climb round and round close to the outside wall, to avoid the railing where the stair treads narrow about their central post. A semi-circular platform rests high above. Its glass windows provide a sweeping view. Counting the last few steps, I finally reach the top of the Moreton Bay Lighthouse, where I gaze in awe at the ocean below.

the rising sun
an endless pathway
of molten gold

Outside the lighthouse, lamp is rotating. I disengage it as there is no need for its warning light. Now the bold red and white stripes of the lighthouse itself will become the beacon. I study the turbulence of the deep waters churning the rocky shore below. The subtle changes in the wind, waves, and tides are entered in my log book – these brief markers of the ever-transforming seascape that surrounds me.

ebb tide
a foot print shelters
one tiny crab”

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables.

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Poetry Workshop” tab to create your Haiku or Tanka.


I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver
That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world.


How Long Do You Have and Your Deadline: You have a week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Monday at 12:00 P.M. (Noon)
Denver time, U. S. A. This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem post from the previous week, on the new prompt I send out on Tuesday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words that you need to use (in some form) in the writing of your poetry. This will be a challenge in writing your Haibun poem. Follow the rules carefully.

The two words can be used in any way you would like to use them. Words have different definitions, and you can use the definitions you like. Feel free to use synonyms for the words when the poetry form calls for it.

LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTP:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People participating in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Review section of the new prompt on Tuesday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images.

As time permits, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose

If you haven’t set up your blog to share to Twitter, you should. Click HERE to learn how to link your blog to Twitter. It is an excellent way to meet other poets and share your work.

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post:

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 35th POETRY CHALLENGE USING THE WORDS – PAST & PRESENT: (Please make sure to visit the other participants. We learn from each other. <3)


On the edge – Jane Dougherty Writes

Convoluted thoughts – Reena Saxena

Clocks n calendars – Reena Saxena

Unhinged – Reena Saxena

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #35 Past & Future | Annette Rochelle Aben

Haiku Past & Future/NoSaintAugustine

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 35 – PAST & FUTURE – Ladyleemanila

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 35 – PAST & FUTURE | K Y R O S M A G I C A

Colleen’s #Poetry Challenge #35 Past & Future

#Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge 35 – PAST & FUTURE – Mick E Talbot Poems

Colleen’sWeekly# Poetry Challenge Past and Future. | willowdot21

Now (A Senryu) | Darkness of His Dreams

Past imperfect, future tense – Playing with words

Safe Harbor | rivrvlogr

Now | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Haiku# 35# past& future – சுழல்கள்/Suzhalgal

Thermodynamics (a Tanka) | Darkness of His Dreams

Time (haiku #18) – Stories

Painting the sky – By Sarah


Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge Past & Future/Stuff and What If

#Colorado Dreams – A #Haibun | Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

Haibun – Gift of Now! | radhikasreflection

Time Zones | method two madness

Past & Future | thoughts and entanglements

Survivor: Sun and Moon | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

This week’s Poet of the Week is Ken G, from his blog called Rivrvlogr. Ken’s Haibun speaks for itself. This was an excellent take on the prompt words. Make sure and visit his blog to comment on his poetry. I really loved this one! <3

© 2017 Ken G., Rivrvlogr

Here are the two words for this week’s challenge: HAPPY & SAD

(any forms of the words AND don’t forget to use synonyms)

There are many different meanings to these words. Have fun and experiment. If the prompt words don’t Inspire you… write a POEM based on the photo BELOW:

A day lily from my garden


About Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Faery Writer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams. Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community on November 2017, and in 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. Colleen lives in Arizona with her husband. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. Learn more about Colleen on
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  1. Thanks for the wonderful explanations. 😉 Michael

  2. Pingback: Crimson – By Sarah

  3. Pingback: Knots – Jane Dougherty Writes

  4. Thank you for the feature, Colleen!

  5. Pingback: I am not Gautam Buddha – Reena Saxena

  6. Here is the shortlink to my haiku, Spellwork.

  7. Pingback: Spellwork, a haiku – nosaintaugustine

  8. Also, Welcome back from vacation, Colleen, I hope you had a great time!

  9. Pingback: Content (Senryu) | Darkness of His Dreams

  10. Pingback: Colleen's Weekly #Poetry Competition #36 Happy & Sad

  11. Pingback: All your gifts – Playing with words

  12. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #36 Happy & Sad | Annette Rochelle Aben

  13. My short link in case my ping back doesn’t work

  14. Pingback: Happy & Sad | thoughts and entanglements

  15. Hello Everyone,
    Here is my entry for this week. I gave the haibun a try.

  16. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 36 – HAPPY & SAD – Mick E Talbot Poems

  17. Pingback: Bleeding heart (Tanka) Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge#36-happy-sad – Uniquesus

  18. Pingback: au revoir – Stories

  19. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 36 – HAPPY & SAD | M J Mallon Author

  20. Pingback: Be happy not sad. | The Syllabub Sea

  21. Pingback: happysad | method two madness

  22. Pingback: Tanka: The Moon and my Heart – My Feelings My Freedom

  23. Pingback: The Selkie’s Lament: Haibun | Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

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